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Edinburgh Have It All To Do In Galway

Edinburgh Have It All To Do In Galway

It is simple, said Edinburgh coach Frank Hadden. If you win you are in the final – lose and you are out. And it will be tough for us to make the final.

Edinburgh Rugby will be looking to take back-to-back Irish scalps when they travel to Galway Sportsground to tackle Connacht in the Celtic Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Todd Blackadder’s men beat Munster 20-9 last Friday – but are well aware that their last trip to Galway in early September ended in an 11-3 defeat.

But that was in the Celtic League and now it is sudden death with a place in the prestigious final on 20 December at stake.
It’s simple, said Edinburgh coach Frank Hadden. If you win you are in the final – lose and you are out. And it will be tough for us to make the final. Connacht ended Ulster’s winning run at the weekend and are on the crest of a wave.

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They are a settled and formidable side and we are looking forward to having another crack at them. I am still talking to our World Cup players and we will wait until a bit later in the week to see what sort of frame of mind they are in before making any decisions.

But we do have a number of injuries and you could say we are right on the cusp as far as getting a fully fit squad out on Saturday. It is looking extremely tight.

Tom Philip will be out for around a month after injuring a knee at the weekend; Joel Brannigan needs an operation to tidy up his damaged knee and Guy Perrett is also suffering with a knee problem.

But at least they have that Munster win as a confidence booster – though Hadden candidly admitted the only place we beat them was on the scoreboard – it was real backs to the wall stuff with our defence outstanding.

Meanwhile, Michael Bradley a Munster man in his first year with Connacht is hoping his side will make the most of their home advantage when the sides meet in Galway.

It is fantastic for us to be at home – I would not have fancied an away draw at this stage of the tournament, said the Connacht coach.

We played Edinburgh Rugby on the first weekend of the Celtic League and, although we beat them, they actually outplayed us so we know what to expect.

We are delighted to be in the semi-finals and we will take whatever comes our way in terms of the team they select – though I expect many of the World Cup players will be keen to get back into action with their sides.

We are very wary of the threat they pose and I guess you could say it is one of those 50-50 games. Edinburgh, like the other Scottish teams, mirror the game at national level. They ruck very well, get great continuity and retain possession well – it is our job to counter all that.

It was a very good result for us against Ulster. We have been targetting our defence and that was extremely strong and Mark McHugh had one of those days with his kicking when everything went over. There was a great atmosphere and I am hopeful we will get a big crowd on Saturday.